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Cards received! More ZTs!

I finally got into an informal mail swap, although I’m having difficulty registering myself for it. Still, I have mailed some cards to people already listed, and received two in return.

Card from Elizabeth in Kansas. (Pastel and gel)

Card from Elizabeth in Kansas. (Pastel and gel)

Card from Kathy in Ohio (ink and white paint on green stock)

Card from Kathy in Ohio (ink and white paint on green stock)

The past week or so have been too busy to do much with cards, but I keep my hands busy (when I’m not knitting) doing Zentangles. I’m feeling really stuck on these, like they’re beginning to look pretty much the same. I need to do something different: cards in a different medium, or go in a completely different direction–I’m thinking mandalas.

Zentangles #5 (some permanent marker,  some washable marker, on Bristol board)

Zentangles #5 (some permanent marker, some washable marker, on Bristol board)

Summer’s Over, Get to Work!

Even during the wrap-up to the kids’ vacation, during which both grandchildren stayed with us, I got a few cards done. I’m trying to get onto a mail art exchange but I’m having difficulty–I’ll keep trying. I will swap with anyone, anywhere in the world. If you’d like to receive a card, send your mailing address to jillybeanswiggins@gmail.com

Here are my end-of-summer efforts:

Zentangle (sort-of) Stained Glass

Zentangle (sort-of) Stained Glass (marker)

Cogs, spokes and gears (marker) went to a friend in Canada

Cogs, spokes and gears (marker) went to a friend in Canada

Miro (marker) reminds me of the Spanish surrealist Joan Miro

Miro (marker) reminds me of the Spanish surrealist Joan Miró

 

 

Beach Cottages (water color), a reminder of the road between Rockport and Aransas, Pass, Texas

Beach Cottages (water-color), a reminder of the road between Rockport and Aransas Pass, Texas

Leaves (marker)

Leaves (marker)

Stained-glass Picasso (marker) on photo paper

Stained-glass Picasso (marker) on photo paper

Austin Boogie (marker), after Mondrian's "Broadway Boogie"

Austin Boogie (marker), after Mondrian’s “Broadway Boogie”

George's doodle (marker) for a visiting friend who liked the doodles, so I made him his own.

George’s doodle (marker) for a visiting friend who liked the doodles, so I made him his own.

 

More Zentangles: Exercise, Meditation and Therapy

Although it’s doubtful I’m in compliance with the rules of Zentangling, I find it both calming and satisfying. Not so much the black-and-white drawing, because it’s hard for me to come up with new ways to move the pen, but I enjoy the color part: selecting color combinations and then feeling the flow of the ink. I loved coloring books as kid; this lets me indulge in that childhood pleasure.

Next, I think I’m ready to try scaling them up to postcard size.

I do these six-up on 9x12 Bristol board. I obviously mismeasured the bottom two! (Sharpie ultrafine and marker)

I do these six-up on 9×12 Bristol board. I obviously mismeasured the bottom two! (Sharpie ultrafine and marker)

ZT 4

I used a straight edge for the top set; these squares were drawn freehand (but measured correctly!). (Sharpie ultrafine and markers)

The Yips, Zentangles and Boundaries

There is a golf term called “the yips,” but I think it applies to anything that requires steady hands. Basically, when it’s most important to have muscle control, the muscles, or the brain, don’t cooperate and you twitch. There have been studies of the neurology behind it, and I won’t go into it, but suffice it to say I’ve suffered from my own version of the yips, especially with a permanent marker in my hand. I’ll have a beautiful curve flowing across the page and–urp–a tiny jerk spoils the line.

Through a chance encounter with someone who teaches it, I learned about Zentangles. Once again I won’t go into detail because you can follow the link if you’re interested. When I looked into it, I loved the images and the idea of a meditative sort of doodling. I’m a big doodler anyway, so I decided to try it. There are certain standards and parameters, and I doubt if I’m following them strictly, but it doesn’t matter. Once I have some black lines down I can’t resist coloring them, and that’s what is the most fun for me. Since the drawings are small (3.5 inches square) and I do them strictly for exercise, there’s no pressure and fewer hiccups, and if they do occur they’re incorporated into the drawing.

The other thing that I’ve found interesting about both Zentangles and my whole mail art obsession is the power of having a boundary. A big canvas is really hard to get started on, but a 4×6 postcard is a nice little space to fill, and if you don’t like it you don’t have to gesso over it.

Last week was granddaughter week so I didn’t get cards done. We went to the Blanton Museum and a water-color exhibit at the Dougherty Arts Center, did some art together and she sent some cards.

I have been drawing and coloring Zentangles to stay loose. I am far from accomplished, but these are a good start on my new meditative art practice.

ZT 1

 

ZT 2